Tag Archives: University Selection

Applying to a university abroad, especially to the United States can be a daunting task. Every year, over 800, 000 graduate applications are received on an average for seats in the American universities, mostly covering STEM disciplines, pure sciences, and the humanities. Given that the United States is a global education destination for international graduates, globally; there is intense competition among the best of students as well as students with unique distinctions and contributions in their profile. Malala Yousafzai gained an admit to the prestigious Oxford university, as much for her excellence in her ‘O’ levels, as for being the ‘torchbearer of gender parity’ for Afghan women and other people, across the globe.

Academic profile

It is a well-known fact that students, who have consistently excelled in their academic curriculum also stand a better chance to gain admits to the choicest universities abroad and in the United States. However, it would be unfair to say that schools in the U.S only want great scholars as students. In fact, there is much emphasis on excellence as an all-rounder, be it sports, music, art,

An academic profile is not limited to only the grades and scholastic performance of a student. It also speaks of the integration of the student as a vibrant and active member of the student body as a member of the college as well as a member/citizen of the civic body, citizenry etc.

This can well be demonstrated through volunteer work in NGO’s, student forums, citizen bodies etc. which amply demonstrates the independence and individual nature of the student, which is given equal weightage with the academic prowess of the student, while evaluating the application. One must ensure that when building their profile, students should pay due attention to these aspects of the application process in order to ensure a good admit. As a matter of fact, at Collegepond, we see many students with excellent overall profiles gaining acceptance to the crème de la crème universities like Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon, University of California, Berkeley, GeorgiaTech, Vanderbilt University, University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, Virginia Tech etc. To know more on how to build your profile and gain admission to the best universities in the U.S, click here and fix a free counseling session at the nearest Collegepond office.


Another important aspect which plays a key role in evaluating a student application is the student’s self- affirmation of his eligibility for admittance to the program, which is called the Statement of Purpose (SOP). This is read in tandem with the Letters of Recommendation (LOR) by eminent persons like professors, eminent persons in the field of science, art, culture etc., which vouchsafe the student’s profile, contributions etc.  so that he can impress the committee about the suitability of the student for the proposed program. Failure to do so or dissonance between the student’s profile and the credentials offered could well result in a limited acceptance of the application or even, a unanimous rejection. These third-party credentials play a vital role in underlining the candidature of the student and attesting the veracity of the student’s own recommendation letter or SOP.

Cultural Diversity factor

Most US universities use the “holistic review” process while evaluating college applications. This means admissions officer’s place emphasis on the applicant as a whole person, not just his or her academic achievements, so soft factors may be given just as much consideration as the empirical data present in hard factors. As has already been mentioned, the university considers its campus to provide an overall interaction which has a multi-leveled impact in terms of enrichment through stellar cultural, social, scholastic interactions that serve to educate holistically, beyond the standard education paradigm in most countries. It is for this reason that the universities in the United States offer well over twice the number of programs, in myriad disciplines, as compared to any other single country, across the globe. In fact, the American education system is uniquely built to offer a concierge service in terms of education where students learn only what they would be interested in, thereby offering course flexibility as well as diversity in the curriculum.

Admissions officers want to get to know students and admit those applicants who they think will excel at the institution and make a positive impact on the campus community. The holistic review approach benefits applicants who may have not had the best academic marks, but can contribute to the college community in other ways.

For further information on how Collegepond can help you gain admission to the University of your dreams, visit any of our nearest offices across India, for a free counseling session.

The advent of the Information Age at the start of the millennium has seen the West become a hub for technology, with a focus on developing acute capabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This jumpstart has given the West an edge that other countries are yet to catch up with, naturally leading to advanced education systems and pedagogy in various universities.

Another reason is the quality of research and peer review that lends credibility to the development work carried out in universities, through funding from strategic think-tanks as well as government. Also, a student with a degree from an accredited foreign university fares better, in terms of remuneration, corporate placement, work skills and has been historically known to have better employability values; as the university education in the West, focuses on the practical application of theories. At the end of the day, a degree must be monetised with excellent returns.

Every admission cycle, there’s an inevitable rush for students to gain admits to the university programs of their choice. The business of profile building resumes, Letters of Recommendation, Statement of Purpose, all carefully collated and sent with each application as per the university mandate. If the time for sowing is the application season, then quick on the heels, comes the harvest; a multiplicity of admits for the students who have diligently cast his/her net wide, to seek entry into the best programs in their chosen discipline. Jubilation aside, a student is faced with the most important choice of all – which admit will be his/her ticket to his or her dream job.

When deciding between multiple admits, one must keep the following in mind –

  • The type of program offered based on curriculum design – Whether research or class-based – does it lead to the development of an employable skill set, which will be covered by a potential employer.
  • The Brand name of the university – Checking the student reviews of the university, is a great way to gauge the ground reality, on-campus, be it professors, classes, facilities etc.
  • Recall value with the alumni network – to gain entry in distinguished companies, it always helps to build rapport with the top person, especially if he is an alumnus of the school you graduated from.
  • Internship and Full-time Job Opportunities: Every university website has this information put up and accessible by prospective students. One can avail a list of companies visiting the university’s career fairs and also a list of companies which have hired students from the concerned university.
  • The research projects and laboratory facilities: If there are good research projects on, it means the department has sufficient amount of funding. One will have the opportunity to get hands-on research experience, gauge and enhance one’s ability to apply your knowledge practically and also earn you a research assistantship.
  • Scholarships on offer – If the university has given a scholarship/tuition waiver with the promise of more to come, then that university must be on top of one’s pile. Remember, if they are hospitable and willing to work with you, you have it made.
  • Weather, amenities – Aside from weather that you can handle, a student ought to factor in their ability to find grocery, indigenous foods as per the home country, as per the comfort.
  • The living conditions of the city/township of the University – It is important to check the crime rate, hate crimes, immigrant shoot-outs etc., to ensure that you are going to a place which will support your safety.

Once you have factored in the above, in the order stated, you would be in a better position to pick the admit of your choice. The fact is your educational experience will be with you for life, not only as a life experience but also, it makes you a part of a larger group of people who will share your allegiance to your alma mater. These people would be authorities in their own right, in verticals ranging from business to politics and the fact that you would share a single trait/commonality with them, depending on your choice of university, is enough to give a student pause for consideration in making the right selection.

Having said so, a happy freshman year to you!

Acceptance Rate of University
How to get into a good university with average acads?

How to get into a good university with average acads?

A question that many students often worry about is how to get into a good university with an average academic record?  One cannot deny the importance of good grades, strong GPA and a stellar academic record as the essential criterion to get into a good institution, but even if your grades are average, you still stand a good chance to get into a reputed college. What you need to do is to make the rest of your college application sparkle and demonstrate a compelling evidence of your skills, talents, abilities and achievements to make sure that the admission committee notices you. How to get into a good university with average acads?

The following tips will help you in securing admission to a good university despite an average academic record:

  1. Work hard for your standardized test: How to get into a good university with average acads?

If your grades are average, then you must do everything you can to do well in your GRE and TOEFL. Prepare to the best of your abilities and take the test more than once if you don’t score well the first time.

  1. Write an extraordinary Essay: How to get into a good university with average acads?

The college application essay can make or break your chance of securing admission in a reputed college. Practice and work hard to write an impressive Statement of Purpose. Be substantive, direct, genuine and honest. Clearly state your interest in the field you wish to specialise in, along with the reasons for selecting a particular university while putting your best foot forward. Write from your heart and make it as unique as possible.

  1. Get strong recommendation letters from teachers and counsellors:

A gleaming LOR goes a long way in establishing your candidacy for a particular program. Recommendations not only validate your technical and academic competence but can also convince the committee of your overall preparedness for the program in terms of your aptitude, attitude, adaptability, flexibility, open-mindedness and interpersonal skills. Indeed, a well-drafted letter of recommendation is a chance for professors/counsellors/employers to help the applicant put his or her best foot forward. Admission committees are not just interested in your academic achievements but also are looking for well-rounded individuals who can add value to the university through their versatility. Therefore, try getting, at least, one recommendation from someone who has known you outside the classroom setting and can speak convincingly about your strengths and involvement in extracurricular activities, thus making you sound like a cut above the rest.  How to get into a good university with average acads?

  1. Consider schools with conditional acceptance programs:

There are plenty of schools that give students an opportunity to attend school on a conditional basis. This is ideal for you if you have lower grades but have a great application otherwise. Many schools will offer conditional admission, however; you must keep your GPA at a certain point to remain enrolled in the school.  If you have an average academic record, then you can consider this option. Some of them are- the University of Wisconsin, University of Idaho, University of Iowa, California State University- Fullerton, Colorado State University, Virginia Tech and Arizona State University.

  1. Avoid early admission: How to get into a good university with average acads?

If you have an average academic record, then it is advisable to apply for regular admissions since early admissions are extremely competitive. Your chances of being accepted for regular admission are far better than the selective process of an early admission. You must use the extra time to take challenging courses and improve your GPA.

  1. Take responsibility and offer an explanation: How to get into a good university with average acads?

If your academic performance was negatively affected due to circumstances that were out of your control such as, family issues, illness or any other reason, then you must take responsibility for it and explain it in a thoughtful and mature way. You can discuss your poor grades in the additional information field on the Common Application. However, Admission officials are aware that grades are not the only indicator of a student’s capability and therefore, if you can convince the admission committee that you are a sincere, diligent and persevering student for them to see your application in a positive light.

  1. Showcase your strengths: How to get into a good university with average acads?

Grades are not the only deciding factor that universities consider during admissions. They do look at your participation outside the classroom to see what kind of person you are. They want to ensure that you will add value to the academic and cultural fabric of the University. If you have participated in extracurricular activities, won competitions, engaged in volunteer work and social activities then you must mention the same in your application. These are your strengths, and you must play up your strengths as it will distinguish you from other applicants.

An average academic record is in no way a roadblock to gaining entry into the college of your dreams. Keep these pointers in mind and remember to stay positive and never give up!

Boston University Feedback

Boston University Feedback

Collegepond stays in constant touch with their ex-students in order to aid the current students to get the real-time information. We get them connected to clear doubts about the course, internships, housing, travelling, jobs, etc. Below is one of the Boston University feedback from our ex-student in response to the doubts asked by Fall 2016 aspirants of Collegepond. Boston University Feedback
“First thing first, you got an admit from “Boston University” and not “Boston College”. This is just a friendly advice though a very important one. This is because Boston College is one of many famous universities of Boston, and there is kind of a derby rivalry between BC and BU. Thus, you cannot mix the names, and especially not when you  arrive in Boston. So start getting used to it, from now itself.!! 😛
Anyways, answering your questions,  Boston University Feedback
1. BU is one of the highly reputed universities in the United States. It is kind of underrated in India, but that is because of the high fees and high cost of living of Boston. But as a current student, I can safely say that BU is the place to be if you are into extensive research. Thus, if you are thinking of a PHD, then do not hesitate to take BU. Jobs opportunities is kind of dependent, not on the university or the reputation, but on your current profile and the profile you build during your masters. I know people with me, who didn’t get a job yet and also ones who have got into Apple and Intel right after their masters. Just maintain a high GPA!!  Packages is again subjective, highly dependent upon your profile. There is no average, maximum or minimum for me atleast.  Boston University Feedback
2. Boston average cost of living is high. Rents are especially high if you want to get a room of your own. Cars, Drinks, food, clothes are way.. way cheaper than India. But if you manage your time well and don’t mess with you academics, there are a million opportunities on campus. You can easily pay your expenses off. Boston University Feedback
3. Internships again like jobs, highly dependent on your profile. College does not matter. You have to really good and prove your worth to the companies you are applying to. No TA unless you take the course once. But if you take the course and get a ‘A’ grade, then you can talk to the professor for TA, for the next time the course is offered. No RA unless you are a PHD student.
4. Class Size 25-30 for a famous course, 15 for a difficult course. Professors are legends in BU. They are just too good without doubt. Courses are well- structured, up to date, and extensively technical. You have to really buck up once you become a master’s student. Infrastructure wise amazing, and it has to be, cause the exorbitant fees they take. But I feel, every penny is worth it. Diversity – very few Indians (unusual) and way more Chinese.  Boston University Feedback
Best Regards,
______________” Boston University Feedback

Lehigh University

Lehigh University

Lehigh University is an American private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer and has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines. Its undergraduate programs have been coeducational since the 1971–72 academic year. As of 2014, the university had 4,904 undergraduate students and 2,165 graduate students. Lehigh is considered one of the twenty-four Hidden Ivies in the Northeastern United States. Lehigh University Read More

Brown University TOP 50

Brown University TOP 50

Brown University is a private, Ivy League, Research University in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” Brown is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges established before the American Revolution.  Read More

New York University

New York University

New York University (NYU) is a private, non-sectarian American research university based in New York City. Founded in 1831, NYU is one of the largest private non-profit institutions of American higher education. NYU is organized into more than twenty schools, colleges, and institutes, located in six centres throughout Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn. NYU’s main campus is located at Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan with institutes and centres on the Upper East Side, academic buildings and dorms down on Wall Street, and the Brooklyn campus located at MetroTech Centre in Downtown Brooklyn. The University also established NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Shanghai and maintains 11 other Global Academic Centres in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Washington, D.C.  Read More

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University (also known as Case Western Reserve, Case Western, Case, and CWRU) is a private research university in Cleveland, Ohio. The university was created in 1967 by the federation of Case Institute of Technology (founded in 1881 by Leonard Case Jr.) and Western Reserve University (founded in 1826 in the area that was once the Connecticut Western Reserve). TIME magazine described the merger as the creation of “Cleveland’s Big-Leaguer” university.  Read More

University of Pittsburgh TOP 50

The Swanson School of Engineering is the engineering school of the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1846, The Swanson School of Engineering is the second or third oldest in the United States.

The Swanson School of Engineering offers undergraduate, graduate degrees, and doctorates in 6 academic departments:


Chemical and Petroleum engineering

Civil and Environmental engineering

Electrical and Computer engineering

Industrial engineering

Mechanical engineering and Materials science

Academic programs offered by the school included Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mining Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Science, Industrial Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering.

Research centers housed in the school include:

The Centre for Energy

The Centre for Simulation and Modelling

The Mascaro Centre for Sustainable Innovation

The Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering

The Lubrizol Innovation Laboratory (a partnership of the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department and The Lubrizol Corporation)

The University of Pittsburgh Centre for Energy is a research centre housed in the Swanson School of Engineering that is dedicated to improving energy technology development and energy sustainability. Comprising more than 70 faculty members and 200 students and postdocs, the centre is scheduled to be housed on a floor of Benedum Hall undergoing a $15 million renovation. The centre was created in 2008 to bring together energy innovators across a range of engineering and academic disciplines. It also sought to develop stronger collaborations with energy industry partners in the Western Pennsylvania. The centre’s faculty focus on five key areas of research that include energy delivery and reliability, carbon management and utilization, high-temperature and other advanced materials, energy efficiency, and unconventional gas resources. In February, 2012, the centre announced it had received a $22 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The donation, one of the largest ever grants awarded by the Mellon Foundation or received by the University of Pittsburgh, is targeted to strengthen the centre by creating at least four new faculty positions and eight endowed graduate fellowships. It will also purchase equipment and establish a fund to encouraging innovative research focused on smart grid technology, along with providing general support for research infrastructure and the centre’s operations.

Notable alumni and faculty include-

Erik Buell — (1979) — Engineer, founder and chairman of Buell Motorcycle Company – subsidiary of Harley-Davidson.

John Choma— (1963, 1964, 1965, 1969) — Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics at the University of Southern California.

Bob Colwell — (1977) — electrical engineer who was the chief architect on the Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, and Pentium 4 microprocessors.

Michael Lovell — (1989, ’91, ’94) — President of Marquette University

John A. Swanson — (1966) — Founder and retired President of ANSYS, a leading innovator of finite element simulation software and technologies designed to optimize product development processes. Winner of the John Fritz Medal in engineering.

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